A Hit and run is something that can happen to anyone. One moment you are driving, enjoying the sunlight, and then the next, you feel excited and the adrenaline rushing through your veins as you go fast and hit someone.
A hit-and-run happens when someone hits another car, a person, or someone’s property, fails to provide their insurance details or aid and runs from the scene of the accident. In Texas, this is considered a serious criminal charge. And the punishment can vary from a misdemeanor to a felony based on the damage the accused caused.
What are the responsibilities of the driver?
Under the transportation code of Texas, a driver who causes an accident and damages the property or injures any person must stop and take the necessary actions. If they want to avoid any criminal charges, they need to do the following:
- When an accident causes some damage or injury/death, the driver should not run from the scene. They must return to the scene, render help to the injured, and should provide their personal information. They should also provide information about their driving license. Running from the scene without rendering help will be considered a misdemeanor, and you might have to pay a fine of up to $500. But if the damage to the vehicle is less than $200, your punishment would be classified as a class B misdemeanor, and you can be sent to jail for six months.
- If you are hitting an unoccupied vehicle, you must try to locate the driver and give your contact information or leave a note about the accident.
- If the accident damages any property, the driver must find the person of authority and report the damage along with contact details.
Failure to comply with any of these rules can lead to severe punishments.
What evidence is needed to convict?
Hit-and-run accidents are a serious criminal offense in Texas. Suppose the driver causes an accident or runs away from the scene. In that case, the police will look for evidence, like investigating the case, looking into the video footage of nearby cameras, and finding evidence proving that the driver fled the scene.
Prosecutors can use various types of evidence to establish that the accident happened, including:
- The first step is to provide the testimony of witnesses about what they saw.
- Second, physical evidence that connects to the defendant’s car that caused the accident. These include the driver’s number plate, the damage caused by the defendant’s car, or debris from the accident scene. The victim can also provide the surveillance footage that captured the accident.
So, if you are a hit-and-run victim, the first step is to contact the authorities, even if you are not hurt. Describe the vehicle that hit you and give the description of the person as much as possible. Try to note down all the details you remember when the memory is fresh. As the victim of a hit and run, you need to seek legal counsel to locate the driver and seek the compensation you deserve.